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February 13, 2021

Dominic Thiem

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

D. THIEM/N. Kyrgios

4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the match.

DOMINIC THIEM: It was an epic match, I think, huge effort from both players actually. Honestly I was already almost on my way home when I faced two breakpoints in the beginning of the third set.

But in general, I think it's one of the tougher challenges out there in tennis to face Nick when he's on fire on his favorite court with an unbelievable atmosphere and crowd behind him.

So I'm super proud how I got through it, and definitely gives me a big boost for everything what's coming.

Q. You had never played him in a full match before. So I'm wondering, from the outside looking how Nick plays, everything he does on court, it looks like quite the experience to face him. Can you try and describe what it's like to go through three-and-a-half hours of playing in this kind of match?

DOMINIC THIEM: That's also one reason I think why I I didn't play well or why I felt not the best on court, because as you said, I never faced him. I was pretty tight in the beginning and then had the worst start possible with a break down.

His serve is amazing. It's so accurate, tough to read. So that's why it was very, very difficult for me in the beginning.

And then if he plays great like today, on fire, you're constantly under so much pressure in your own serve. Because, you know, you have in the back of your head that you're not gonna break him or that you're not gonna get a lot of chances to break. So it's almost playing against the big service, constantly huge pressure on the on-serve. And he can always play great return games.

So it's definitely not easy, and I'm happy that I went through that experience today.

Q. It's a bit off-beat, but when you sign the camera lens after a match, do you put a lot of thought into it, or is it just you sign your name or do you sometimes want to put a message on there?

DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, now I always put "Play for the ocean," because I support this since a long time. And right now it's a good time for that because of my Adidas outfit. It's completely recycled plastic from the ocean. It's together with Parley, so that's an amazing cause and that's also the right thing right now to put on the camera.

Q. Sunday is Valentine's Day and the tournament is not normally played on that holiday of love. What do you love most about being a tennis player and the lifestyle?

DOMINIC THIEM: Well, many things about it, but probably most of it emotions, like today, this huge feeling of great and epic matches like today. Even better that I won it. It's a feeling what is not describable, I think, and which is what nobody can understand who doesn't do it. So that's what I love the most.

It's pretty sad now that one part is gone from tomorrow on, that the stadiums are empty again. So it's pretty rough times, I'd say.

Q. How is playing a Grand Slam without Nico Massu, changing your routine, your preparation?

DOMINIC THIEM: No, we are in contact on the phone. My dad is in contact with him, so they give me great preparations for the game.

Of course I would love him to be here, but it's just not possible this time. I have to go through it without him, but I have a great team who is supporting me here, a team who I know since forever.

So I think I can do it without him now, but obviously I hope that from French Open he's there again every single Grand Slam.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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